Speleology is the science of the study of natural caves. Those who go caving are not scientists, but rather individuals who like the adventure of an unusual recreational sport. Caving clubs exist world wide for those who consider caving more than a once in a lifetime thing. Never go caving alone. This is one activity where there is safety in numbers. Caves can become flooded, equipment can fail and hypothermia are just some of the dangers. Always go with experienced cavers. And pick an expedition that matches your level of expertise.
Cave Country Adventures conducts tours at Marengo Cave, a US national landmark in Marengo Illinois. The Old Town Spring Cave tour teaches safe techniques and you get to wade an underground stream. The tour takes two hours and is available all year. The group is limited to 6 to 20 people and the minimum age is 10. The Waterfall Crawl is similar, but you enter the cave through a vertical shaft. This one is available from September through May, takes 5 or 6 hours, is limited to 12 to 44 explorers a day and the minimum age is 10. Caver’s Day takes you on a tour of the Crystal Palace, “Dripstone,” “The Crawl,” “The Masher” and the lower levels of Marengo Cave. The tour is available from November through May, takes 5 to 6 hours, is for 12 to 44 people and the minimum age is 10. The Beginners Challenge is a special program just to 7 to 12 year olds.
Caves Branch will take you caving and cave tubing in Belize. Their “River of Caves” Cave Tubing adventure takes you over seven miles of underground rivers. This one is only available during the rainy season. Other times they run the River Cave Expedition which is a combination of cave tubing and cave exploration. This trip takes you past ancient Maya Ceremonial centers and crystal formations more than 5,000,000 years old. The Waterfall Cave Expedition takes you to a cave that is home to six different waterfalls. The day ends with a three kilometer hike through the forest. The Mayan Ceremonial Cave Tour takes you through what the ancient Mayans believed to be the entrance to the underworld. Unlike the other tours, these caves are dry, no rivers to go tubing on. The Black Hole Drop begins with a hike to the foot hills of the Maya Mountains and the Actun Loch Tunich sink hole 300 feet above the basin and 200 feet over the top of the rain forest. You will repel down to the sink hole and then into it. All of their trips are for adults and you have to be physically fit.
Be sure to check with the company about what equipment you need and the proper clothes to wear. Start out with an easy one and if you want to continue, work your way up to climbing and tubing.
Canadian Cave Information